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First Board Build Alaia

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alpha84
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First Board Build Alaia

Postby alpha84 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:14 am

Hi all,

I am planning on building an Alaia as my first board starting next week. I'm going to follow the waterlust instructions and see where they take me. Before I started I wanted to see if anyone had any particular advise on the Alaia or if there is anything you wish you would have done different.

The CAD file on waterlust is for a 5 6' board. I'm 6 3' around 190-195. I was planning on building the board at roughly 6ft. Any thoughts on board size for someone size?

I was struggling with understanding how to measure and shape the rails but think this site did a good job showing the process http://tejonpadrekitesurf.blogspot.com/ As for the edges is there any particular shaping to adhere too or is it just uniformity around the board?

For the concave I was going to just use a hand planner instead of router.

As for the rocker, the waterlust template suggests having some in the nose but I have seen on other posts where people have no rocker. I also believe the Naish Alaia has no rocker (I may be wrong) is there any harm in having some rocker in the nose?

Thanks for the sanity check and any suggestions you may have. Hope to post some photos when it starts to take shape.

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downunder
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby downunder » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:50 am

Hi,

Is it a big plank already glued or not? I'm thinking if it's not glued you might take a bit of wood with a hand planner before you glue the plank. Electric planner can take to much in a split second.

I think the belt sander is a way to go if you have a big plank to do. I would make a vacuum table to keep all the wood in level, like here:
viewtopic.php?f=107&t=2387451

See the vacuum cleaner connected to the box with holes on top? This keeps everything in level while you sanding. The holes which are not covered by the board are sealed with a tape to get suction. Duno if this is important when having 1inches or more thick core tho.

So yeah, happy sanding :thumb:

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zob
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby zob » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:34 am

Good points Alpha!

I am about your "size" and 5´5" suits me very well (prety much the Waterlust design). An inch or two shorter and a bit more flex at the tail are my next modifications, to get more comfort at crazy tight turns.
However, since you have to edge/rail the Alaia, in light wind, when kite pull/water resistance is to low and Alaia flatens out it will be hard to go upwind. You don't gain much low end compared to a TT, however also don't lose much at high end. In this perspective biger would be better, but you'd lose some agility.

As for bottom edge shape goes, I've rounded mine from tip and roughly 4-5" past the widest point. It significantly reduced the spray in chop and allows smoother carving. Then the round transitions to a sharp edge. This gives a good bite for edging.

Rocker is realy nice to have. I think I'm at 1" (beveled bottom included) at the nose and 1/4" at the tail. It carves realy nice and goes upwind like crazy. Tail cut-out is also a plus (in width of the concave) for tight turns, since it allows better water release (if done correctly).

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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby alpha84 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:17 am

Thanks for both replies. It's going to be just a big blank, didn't want to deal with all the clamps etc... Haven't seen the sanding table before. Not 100% sure how it keeps the sanding level so I'll jump on youtube tonight to figure that out.

Had a friend who was using an electric planner on his surfboard blank, nearly destroyed it in half a second...so all planning will be done by hand : )

Zob... 5'5 sounds short. I may cut it down a bit then but I'm not sure I will go that short. Do you have a lot of experience riding strapless or on a directional? I have very very limited experience on one and thought bigger may be more friendly to play on even though it may be less agile.

Thanks for the note on the rocker I will give that a try and see how it comes out.

Thanks for all the input, much appreciated

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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby BWD » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:24 am

You don't gain much low end compared to a TT, however also don't lose much at high end. In this perspective biger would be better, but you'd lose some agility.
This is certainly true regarding low end if you stick to the classic alaia shape or waterlust interpretation. From my experience though, you can add width without losing agility. I've ridden 2 years on a paipo based on the BRM model, but widened to 18.25" in the middle. It will turn on a dime, edge, slide sideways, whatever. If anything it might be better for me if it were 19" wide.
My rockerless jumbo alaia (6'9" x 18" ) from 6 or 7 years ago also turned fine, with great low end, but it was too long so always had a lot of nose in the air, or spearing chops. Excess length was much more of an issue for me than width.

Anyway if you want more agility from a wider shape (or just the ability to manage more width), add hips/narrow the tail block.
If you want just plain easier and more fun, add rocker. 3" or so will do wonders.

Keep in mind my opinions may correlate with my ability and conditions (>10yrs riding, solid intermediate, 80kg, often ride in 14 knots or less) . No doubt other riders' experience may differ.

BTW, for low wind I am going to make one shorter but 22" wide, with the tailblock about the same 12" width, but wider 1' up from the tail. Sort of child of paipo x nugget, perhaps. It may eventually grow a foil.

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zob
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby zob » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:58 pm

@ Alpha84: I did have a couple of sessions (literaly) on a Naish Mutant, also 5'5", which has narrow nose and tail and wide in the middle, more rocker. Nothing special for riding and a bit unstable for jibing. Although didn't do much of jibing. Way too many fins.

I can say I started with Alaia totally green and immediately got the feel of it and instantly fell in love with it. Everyone who tries it (all green) might have some shaky knees starting the first run, crash at first transition, than they are already riping upwind the other way and also feel the love immediately. So I don't have any special talent here. :D
People actually like it so much, they started to ask me to bring the 2nd one, because they know I'm not very keen on switching with a TT (p.s.: I don't bring my TT lately, even if it's nuking).

I did try UD boards like skim, wave skim, kite fish after. Compared to my DIY Alaia they are all stiffer and don't perform/feel as good. Alaia is an absolute winner in upwind & downwind, smoothness/stability in chop (important for learning transitions) + speed, smoothness of carves without loosing speed and grip and not feeling fins draging. Wave skim is OK, but nothing special. Skim is to wide for my pref.

@BWD: I also prefer making it wider over making it longer to improve in low wind, however to certain extent, because you feel chop more and more, and i prefer smoother ride.
Since we are talking about Alaia, I think adding fins would make the greatest impact for bottom end performacne (I would also benefit from making a mixer test on my 19m2 S3, since I noticed increased downwind drag :D).
If you can imagine, if you edge hard (to get the kite back up) you loose speed and at one point there is not enough board surface to keep you afloat and you instantly sink edge first. If you do not edge hard enough there is not enough water force to keep the board on the edge, so it flats-out and you get puled a bit downwind + loose some line tension.
Anyways, Alaia goes low enough, so I'm not realy considering any fins and the size suits me very well in 98%.

alpha84
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby alpha84 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:33 am

Thanks guys,
Cut out the shape today and started using the planer. Have a long way to go to get down to .75inch... Should be fun, more to come.

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zob
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby zob » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:35 am

FYI: Any product made from single plank board will tend to warp more, brake faster, be less strong. It can warp or crack just from getting heated up by the sun. At leat what they taught us in school.
But I guess you have already made up your mind for this first build.

alpha84
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby alpha84 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:42 am

The blank I got was several strips glued together, I just didn't feel like going through the clamping process.

I got the blank cut and it's starting to take shape. I'm at the point where I am trying to work down to 3/4 inch thickness while adding in some nose rocker. I've been taking wood off the underside of the nose and the top of the tail and mid section. Is this the right process? I am not seeing as much of a gentle curve as I was hoping for, any suggestions shaping in rocker? Thanks

alpha84
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Re: First Board Build Alaia

Postby alpha84 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:13 am

Worked on the board on and off between traveling. Thanks for the advice, definitely will change somethings on the next one but for a first time working with the wood and epoxy I am pleased. :D
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